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Monday, April 15, 2024

Halloween Spooktacular is a Treat For All at Atmore Dragway

There was a lot of tough Junior Dragster competition during Ben Willis’ Halloween Spooktacular at Atmore Dragway. One talented wheelman went home with $10,000!

As written by Ben Willis, photos courtesy of Pictures by Lou (Lou Crouch)

ATMORE, AL – Beautiful 70 degree weather, a full moon, and Halloween…what better thing to do than put on the biggest junior dragster race of the year?! Well, that’s exactly what Ben and Melissa Willis accomplished this past weekend at Atmore Dragway.

The Halloween Spooktacular was an all junior dragster event stretching over three days. The highlight of the weekend was the $10,000-to-win 64 car Shootout.

Gates opened Friday with juniors rolling in from as far as Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Friday was a day for juniors to test and prepare for the weekend. Although, Friday night was reserved for a competition between the parents.

Saturday would host the main event as well as three age-divided classes. On Sunday there would be an All-Run race paying $1,000, a 32-car 7.90 Index, and a 16-car 8.90 Index race.

carlee tapley junior dragster pictures by lou
Carlee Tapley had an extra passenger during the Halloween Spooktacular
Photo credit: Pictures by Lou

Friday Parents Race Results

After test and tune, Friday night featured the exciting Mike Bos Parents Race. 25 parents stuffed themselves into their kid’s cars and let the kids take over the tuning for a change.

There were a few hours of hard laughs and a lot of trash talking before the final round was set. Mike Combs of Bluff City, TN and Michael Peek of Quitman, GA would stage up as the final pair.

After a red light start from Combs, Peek was deemed the winner. Michael Peek collected $500, the big check and custom trophy from OK Race Fabs.

Michael Peek parents race winner
Michael Peek won the Parents Race on Friday
Mike Combs parents race runner up
Mike Combs was runner up in the Parents Race

Saturday 6 to 9 Year Olds

Although these are the youngest drivers at the event, the competition is just as tough in the 6 to 9 year old division. With a field of 15 cars, the youngsters battled it out until there were only two left.

In the final, it was Sam Willis of Wadley, AL against Kyler Morrel of Louisiana. Kyler would end up with the big check, as Willis would turn it red. Bentley Wright was the lone semifinalist.

Kyler Morel 6-9 yr winner
Kyler Morel wins the 6 to 9 year old class
Sam Willis 6-9 yr runner up
Sam Willis is the 6 to 9 year old runner up

10 to 12 Year OId Saturday Results

26 entries made the first round call in the 10 to 12 year old class. At four cars it was an all Louisiana semifinal with Kane Kern, Corbin Walker, and Maddie Chesne.

Red hot Kane Kern found himself doubled and on the opposite side of the ladder with a chance to run himself in the final.

First up, Kern would take out Corbin Walker to secure one entry in the final pairing. Although, Miss Maddie Chesne put an end to his double up dreams as she took out Kern in the semis and then again in the final round.

Maddie Chesne 10-12 yr winner
Maddie Chesne wins the 10 to 12 year old class
Kane Kern 10-12 yr old runner up
Kane Kern is the 10 to 12 year old runner up

Saturday 13 and Up Results

An outstanding 54 competitors took the tree for first round in the class for those 13 and older. The quarter finals came down to five cars: Austin Logan from Florida, Jada Sexton from Georgia, Caleb Burns from Ohio, Dylan Hite of Louisiana, and Wyatt Palmatier from Florida.

Logan would take out Hite while Sexton would take care of Palmatier, and Burns would have the bye. In the semifinals, Logan would punch his ticket to the final over Burns and Sexton would take her solo pass to the final.

In the final, Austin Logan would earn the win and take the big check over Jada Sexton.

Austin Logan 13 and up winner, all run winner
Austin Logan wins the 13 and up class Saturday and all run class on Sunday
Jada Sexton 13 and up Runner Up
Jada Sexton is runner up in the 13 and up class

$10,000 Main Event Results

With all the age group racing behind us, it was time for the main event. A $10,000 Shootout consisting of 64 of the baddest junior dragster racers in the country.

As the 64-car field made its way to four, the remaining drivers were Travis Logan of Florida, Carson Emmett from Alabama, Rylee Wells from Mississippi, and Maverick Palmatier from Florida. Emmett would take out Palmatier while Logan would eliminate Wells.

In the final, a large crowd covered the starting line to see which young driver would pick up the $10K prize. Travis Logan took out Carson Emmett for the big check, custom trophy, and large payout Needless to say, it was a very special moment and one that will be remembered for a long time to come.

Travis Logan 10K winner
Travis Logan wins the $10,000 Shootout during the Halloween Spooktacular
Carson Emmett 10k shootout runner up
Carson Emmett is the $10K runner up

Skull Bandits Golf Cart Race

Saturday’s excitement was not quite finished, yet. The all important “Skull Bandits” golf cart race was up next on the schedule. This golf cart race has become the most anticipated race at any Ben Wills event.

The “Three Stooges” made up of Jackson Earwood, Wyatt Palmatier, and Stephen Skelton on the Kubota earned the win. Reese Noah claimed the runner up honors.

Golf cart race winner three stooges
The 3 Stooges claim the golf cart race win – Jackson Earwood, Wyatt Palmatier, and Stephen Skelton
Golf cart race runner up Reese Noah
Resse Noah (or Cruella de Vil) is the golf cart race runner up

Sunday 8.90 Index Results

Sunday morning began with an awesome church service courtesy of Luke Barns. After that, we started the day with two index shootouts. First up was a sixteen car 8.90 Index race.

The two young men to face off in the final round were Hayden Miller from Alabama and Wyatt Palmatier from Florida. Miller would take the win away from Palmatier and hold up the big check for $1,000. Kane Kern and KC Guedry were the semifinalists.

Hayden Miller 8.90 index winner
Hayden Miller wins the 8.90 Index race
Wyatt Palmatier 8.90 index runner up
Wyatt Palmatier claims runner up in the 8.90 Index

7.90 Index Results

Next up was the 32-car 7.90 Index race. An extremely tough field found a final four consisting of Curtis Peek from Georgia, Maverick Palmatier of Florida, Carson Emmett of Alabama, and Braden Peters from Michigan.

Peters would take out Peek and Emmett would do the same with Palmatier. Peters would make good on his one thousand mile journey to race, picking up the $2,000 payday over Emmett.

Braden Peters 7.90 index winner
Braden Peters wins the 7.90 Index after traveling all the way from Michigan
Carson Emmett 7.90 index runner up
Carson Emmett is the 7.90 Index runner up

Sunday’s All Run Race Results

After tons of racing action, .00 reaction times, and dead on passes – there was still one race left to finish. A $1,000- to-win “All Run” event, which had a whopping 81 cars making the call for first round.

Following seven rounds of racing, we found ourselves with four cars left in competition. These drivers were Austin Logan of Florida, Kane Kern from Louisiana, Brayden Davis from Georgia, and seven year old Anna Evans from Alabama.

Little Anna would fall short to Kane Kern in the semifinal round. Logan would find his way back to his second final of the weekend, moving on over Davis.

The last round of the weekend had Austin Logan in the winner’s circle one more time, by defeating Kane Kern.

Austin Logan 13 and up winner, all run winner
Austin Logan secures his second win during the Halloween Spooktacular
Kane Kern all run runner up
Kane Kern grabs his second runner up of the weekend

A Word From “Big Daddy” Ben

This wrapped up a phenomenal weekend of junior dragster racing at Atmore Dragway for the Halloween Spooktacular. Ben & Melissa Willis would like to thank our sponsors and everyone that made this event happen.

Thank you to title sponsor Alliance Racewear, Glynn Smith Chevrolet, Pictures by Lou, Stevens and Son Locksmith, Fineline Signs and Graphics, and Mike Bos Racecars. We are also grateful to the staff of Atmore Dragway, the Tapley family, and of course we can’t forget Harrison “Bird Man” Crawford and his father, Chris.

‘Till next year, Happy Halloween! Scroll through some of the scenes during the Halloween Spooktacular below.

  • Halloween costume contest winner 1
  • Halloween costume contest winner 2
  • Halloween costume contest winner 3
  • Best decorated pit
  • trick or treat at atmore dragway
  • halloween spooktacular
  • staging lanes at the Halloween Spooktacular at Atmore Dragway
  • parents race winning trophy

There was a lot of racing action over the Halloween weekend. Check out the Halloween Havoc at GALOT results or the SFG-FTI World Series of Bracket Racing race recap.

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